THR Connects Muslim Film to Santa Clarita Backlot


By Richard Horgan Comment

Blue Cloud Movie Ranch, located 30 miles north of Los Angeles, is currently for sale. Price tag: $15 million.

Unfortunately for owner Rene Veluzat, reports like this one this afternoon by Paul Bond in the Hollywood Reporter are likely to scare off buyers. All because in August 2011, a portion of the 100-acre facility in Saugus known as “Baghdad Square” was used as a filming location for the now infamous world-shaking screed Innocence of Muslims. Per Bond’s report:

JAG and Paramount and myself, we built this entire set for the JAG TV series,” says Veluzat in a YouTube video where he describes his movie ranch. On Thursday, though, that video was made “private” and protected by a password.

Thanks to a filmmaker masquerading on the August 2011 Blue Ranch permit as Sam Bossil and this week to AP/the Wall Street Journal as Sam Bacile, Veluzat had new visitors today – law enforcement officials from both the FBI and LA County Sheriff’s Department. A potentially tough break for a guy whose career reaches back to stand-in work in the 1960s.

At press time, Blue Cloud’s official website was not coming up. The LA Times also published a report focused this afternoon on this devastating bit of SoCal location shooting.

The headline for Bond’s THR article originally read “‘Innocence of Muslims’ Shot on Paramount-Built Set (Exclusive)” but was later changed to “‘Innocence of Muslims’Shot on Hollywood-Built Set.” Presumably after Paramount disputed the sensational full-bore connection.

Update – 09/14/12: According to a subsequent interview with an actress who worked on the film, scenes were also shot at a church in Duarte, CA, where a green screen was set up.

[Photo courtesy Santa Clarita Film Office: Location Library]